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Woman who was part of unlawful CNY gathering amid the pandemic fined $3,000

Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, a group of 15 merrymakers gathered in an office to celebrate Chinese New Year. The event was so noisy that a witness alerted the police in the wee hours of Feb 25 last year.

Due to safe-distancing measures, social gatherings were limited to eight people at the time of the incident.

One of the guests, Chinese national Sun Min Qian, 33, was fined $3,000 on Wednesday (Jan 26) after she pleaded guilty to a charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Eleven others involved in the gathering have been dealt with earlier.

They are: Li Jia, 25; Lim Weitzien, 26; Xiao Jing, 29; Tey Zhi Yuan, 29; He Liuqiong, 30; Low Xiang Hua, 31; Ethan Tan, 31; Chua Li Jin, 32; Joseph Lim Si Swee, 33; Harold Tan Wei Jie, 35 and Ong Hui Siong, 39.

Ong, Ethan Tan, Tey, Low, Joseph Lim, Harold Tan and Chua are Singaporeans while Lim Weitzien is a Malaysian.

The three remaining offenders are Chinese nationals.

Ong, who was the registered tenant of the Pemimpin Drive office near Marymount Road, was given the stiffest fine of $12,000 while Joseph Lim and Lim Weitzien were each fined $6,000. The others were fined $3,000 each.

The cases involving three other Chinese nationals - Chen Yuanyuan, 28; Lin Xiaofeng, 33 and Shao Ruirui, 37 - are still pending.

The court heard on Wednesday that Chua was having dinner with Low and Ethan Tan on Feb 24 last year when he proposed a Chinese New Year gathering.

Chua then contacted Ong who suggested having itat the Pemimpin Drive office.

Guests later arrived at the premises where they drank alcohol, played games and sang karaoke.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Emily Koh said: "The group had met for a frivolous and completely unnecessary purpose... in blatant disregard of the social distancing measures that the rest of society has taken pains to comply with."

The noisy gathering caused a disturbance and a witness alerted the police in the early hours of Feb 25 last year.

Officers turned up at around 2.20am and heard loud music coming from the office.

They knocked on the door and the merrymaking ended after Ong opened it.

For each charge under the Act, a first-time offender can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000.

A repeat offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.

SINGAPORE COURTScrime